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The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps

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The Fall is a memoir like no other. It is a celebration of love, an homage to a courageous child, and an honest look at the ways beauty and art can be deceptive forces in our lives.  The Fall is made up of 424 short passages. This is the number of steps taken by Diogo Mainardi’s son Tito as he walks, with great difficulty, alongside his father through Venice to the beautifu The Fall is a memoir like no other. It is a celebration of love, an homage to a courageous child, and an honest look at the ways beauty and art can be deceptive forces in our lives.  The Fall is made up of 424 short passages. This is the number of steps taken by Diogo Mainardi’s son Tito as he walks, with great difficulty, alongside his father through Venice to the beautiful Lombardo Renaissance Hospital, where a medical mishap during Tito’s birth left him with cerebral palsy. As they make their way toward the place where their lives changed forever, Mainardi draws on his knowledge of art history and culture to try to explain a misfortune that could have been avoided. From Marcel Proust to Neil Young, Sigmund Freud to Humpty Dumpty, Renaissance Venice to Auschwitz, he charts the trajectory of the Western world, with Tito at its center.  


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The Fall is a memoir like no other. It is a celebration of love, an homage to a courageous child, and an honest look at the ways beauty and art can be deceptive forces in our lives.  The Fall is made up of 424 short passages. This is the number of steps taken by Diogo Mainardi’s son Tito as he walks, with great difficulty, alongside his father through Venice to the beautifu The Fall is a memoir like no other. It is a celebration of love, an homage to a courageous child, and an honest look at the ways beauty and art can be deceptive forces in our lives.  The Fall is made up of 424 short passages. This is the number of steps taken by Diogo Mainardi’s son Tito as he walks, with great difficulty, alongside his father through Venice to the beautiful Lombardo Renaissance Hospital, where a medical mishap during Tito’s birth left him with cerebral palsy. As they make their way toward the place where their lives changed forever, Mainardi draws on his knowledge of art history and culture to try to explain a misfortune that could have been avoided. From Marcel Proust to Neil Young, Sigmund Freud to Humpty Dumpty, Renaissance Venice to Auschwitz, he charts the trajectory of the Western world, with Tito at its center.  

30 review for The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kati Heng

    I don’t know how Other Press does it. They just find these books that, in like 10,000 words, less than 200, digest-size pages, rip me to my gut. They’ve done it again with Diago Mainardi’s The Fall: A Father’s Memoir in 424 Steps. You can’t even call it heart-breaking, just gut-twisting full of emotions. It’s the story of a father and his hero, his muse, his son, Tito, a boy born with Cerebral Palsy after the hospital made a mistake during his birth. It’s less a guide from Mainardi on how to deal I don’t know how Other Press does it. They just find these books that, in like 10,000 words, less than 200, digest-size pages, rip me to my gut. They’ve done it again with Diago Mainardi’s The Fall: A Father’s Memoir in 424 Steps. You can’t even call it heart-breaking, just gut-twisting full of emotions. It’s the story of a father and his hero, his muse, his son, Tito, a boy born with Cerebral Palsy after the hospital made a mistake during his birth. It’s less a guide from Mainardi on how to deal with raising a kid with this condition, never a whine that his kid isn’t normal, but truly, a celebration and not-so-humble brag about why this little guy who has never walked more than 424 steps at a time without falling down is the best kid ever. The story does, I guess, start off sad. The first steps – and the whole book is like this, pieced off into paragraphs that make up “steps” instead of chapters, filled loosely with photographs and pictures – outline his wife’s pregnancy, the bad jokes Mainardi made as she went into labor about never having a kid that could rival the architecture of that hospital, the mistakes nurses and doctors made by not delivering Tito as they should have, thus causing his Cerebral Palsy. More than anyone, though, Mainardi blames himself for Tito’s condition. He blames his bad jokes, he blames the things he said (the same things that any father might say), even blames the destiny of all history leading up to this point. Despite all the early blame, though, you can tell Mainardi doesn’t actually care about the circumstances; he’s a thankful bastard he’s got the son he has today. Maybe mid-way through begins just the best gushing/fawning over a kid in modern literature. Doctors say his kid will never learn to talk; Mainardi writes about the genius of his son who created his own secret language that his whole family can crack like their special code. Doctors say his kid will never learn to walk; Mainardi counts the steps his son can take in a row before “the fall,” which is inevitable. Practicing on the beach, Tito learns slowly, taking a few steps at a time before landing in the sand, giggling as if a joke rather than getting stumped by the defeat. The number grows and grows, Tito gets farther before falling down (never losing the attitude that it’s okay to fall over). Eventually this kid, this little wobbly boy that nobody expected to move on his own or communicate, takes 424 steps. It’s a marathon. It’s a hell of a lot. Basically this: If you’ve got a kid, you’ll know what it’s like to be so proud of them, from the first time they throw up and don’t get it all over your shirt to the first time they count to ten, and you’ll relate to the gushing-dad in Mainardi. If you don’t, and you know anyone with anything setting them back, anyone who’s overcome anything everyone talked against, your face is gonna glow with the same pride while reading this. And, if you’re not in either of those groups, you’re gonna need to read this book anyway, because it’s time you see some of the beauty this world’s got.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A parents obsession over for their child is nothing new and is the focus of this slim volume: "the Fall A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps" authored by novelist Diogo Mainardi. The book is written with 424 blog style entries, and details the life of Mainardi's son Tito, who was diagnosed in with Cerebral Palsy. Mainardi recalls how startled he was when he discovered his son in an incubator, unattended by medical staff, turning green, in the maternity ward at Scuola Grande di San Marco hospital in Ven A parents obsession over for their child is nothing new and is the focus of this slim volume: "the Fall A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps" authored by novelist Diogo Mainardi. The book is written with 424 blog style entries, and details the life of Mainardi's son Tito, who was diagnosed in with Cerebral Palsy. Mainardi recalls how startled he was when he discovered his son in an incubator, unattended by medical staff, turning green, in the maternity ward at Scuola Grande di San Marco hospital in Venice. His wife Anna didn't receive the emergency caesarean she needed, and lack of oxygen caused Tito's CP. When Mainardi massaged his sons back the day after he was born, suddenly Tito became responsive and more alert. Tito would need a great deal of therapy, support, and assistance to manage his needs. CP became Mainardi's second language, and Tito's natural state was to be happy; he inspired his father with "cosmic optimism," he devoted his energy "solely and entirely" to Tito. His son became his God, Auschwitz survivor, Richard III, his turtle, James Stewart, Jacopo Tintoretto, everything he read and loved. Mainardi's other topics related to historic events, art, and literature; making this book more interesting. The 1487 "Malleus Maleficarum" (Dominican friar Heinrich Kramer) concerned the "witch midwives" that committed crimes against children. In 1808 Napoleon Bonaparte expelled all the monks in the monastery that became the hospital where his son was born. In 1833 John Ruskin wrote in the "Stones of Venice" that the "immortal elements" had the power to shape the destiny of its inhabitants, sometimes going against the "law of the spirit". Mainardi felt these ideals, elements, etc. namely Pietro Lombardo, John Ruskin, Napoleon, and the amnihook were the things that led to Tito's affliction. The reader also learns more about Ezra Pound: his distain for the Jewish people. The 1939 Action T4 of Adolf Hitler. This secret program began with the execution of 5 month old Gerhard Kretschmar, born blind with only one arm and leg. Unwanted by his own father, he deemed him an "idiot" and a "monster", after being examined at Leipzig University by Hitler's personal physician Karl Brandt, this infant was murdered. The first phase of T4 eliminated disabled adults, mentally ill, epileptics, alcoholics. These events led to the Holocaust that claimed the lives (1942-1943) of over 800,000 Jewish people; deemed enemies of the Third Reich. Mainardi observed that Tito wouldn’t be alive if he had been born during that time. The family relocated to Rio de Janeiro where Nico was born June 16, 2005. After Nico's birth, Tito, who used a communication device, became more vocal. The brothers mirrored each others speech and movements. The use of the "Kaye Walker" increased Tito's mobility, in 2008 Tito walked 359 steps solo. Typically, children may resent parental favored preferential treatment over one child for another. Anna and Nico are barely mentioned in this unique passionately written book. Great artistic pictures, photos of Tito and family were included. Diogo Mainardi is a novelist, and writes for “Veja” the largest news magazine in Brazil. He has translated the writing of Evelyn Waugh, Italo Calvino, and Gore Vidal into Portuguese. He lives in Venice.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    On Monday, I was given this book in Cambridge by my friend Richard Russell. On Tuesday, I began reading it at a doctor's office in Waltham. On Wednesday, I finished it at a cafe in New York. Now, my mind doubles back and forth and back again as I ponder to whom I should send copies: Frederick of Boston, the charming scholar of Venice, the place where this book was set? Christy of Juneau, who blogs so magnificently about her son, who like the author's son, lives with cerebral palsy? My children, On Monday, I was given this book in Cambridge by my friend Richard Russell. On Tuesday, I began reading it at a doctor's office in Waltham. On Wednesday, I finished it at a cafe in New York. Now, my mind doubles back and forth and back again as I ponder to whom I should send copies: Frederick of Boston, the charming scholar of Venice, the place where this book was set? Christy of Juneau, who blogs so magnificently about her son, who like the author's son, lives with cerebral palsy? My children, who, each in their own way, have their lives defined by their children? Everyone in the world? Maybe.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Release Date - 8th May 2014 (England, translated from Brazilian) Synopsis: Join Diogo Mainardi and his son Tito on a journey of 424 steps, starting with Tito’s disastrous birth in a Venetian hospital. It’s a journey full of joy and reflection, and an honest exploration of fatherhood. It’s a journey that follows the arc of western culture, from Rembrandt van Rijn to Assassin’s Creed and from Dante Alighieri to Auschwitz, to show how one boy’s fate has been shaped by history. Above all, it is a cele Release Date - 8th May 2014 (England, translated from Brazilian) Synopsis: Join Diogo Mainardi and his son Tito on a journey of 424 steps, starting with Tito’s disastrous birth in a Venetian hospital. It’s a journey full of joy and reflection, and an honest exploration of fatherhood. It’s a journey that follows the arc of western culture, from Rembrandt van Rijn to Assassin’s Creed and from Dante Alighieri to Auschwitz, to show how one boy’s fate has been shaped by history. Above all, it is a celebration of love and courage, and of the hope and faith we place in our children. "The Fall is a mercurial and enriching walk through 'off-script' fatherhood, cerebral palsy, art history and this commonplace mystery, love. The Fall is wise and kind and moving" (David Mitchell) This is a non-fiction short novella about a father and his son in his struggle to come to terms with his son’s Cerebral Palsy due to a disastrous birth, emotionally and economically. Filled with anecdotes, photographs, pictures, diagrams, art and newspaper clippings it is truly the masterpiece released this year. At only 145 pages it will fascinate, emotionally wreck and amuse you along the way and because it only took me an afternoon to read, I was left in what is known as a reading hangover. It was the advanced proof copy before the publication date that I picked up from the Amnesty International UK building in London and unfortunately because Diogo Mainardi is a Brazilian writer, unless I want to translate them myself, I can’t read anymore of his works. This was the first non-fiction book I read this year and has inspired me to read similar works of non-fiction however the trouble is, it is entirely unique. The blurb says it all really: This is a book about fatherhood. It is about Cerebral Palsy, art, stories and journeys. It’s about Claude Monet, Marcel Proust and Neil Young. This is a book about my son Tito and his 424 steps. This is a book about love. It is utterly moving and beautiful both physically and regarding the story. The only reason why I did not give it 5 stars both here and on GoodReads is because someone as little read as myself did not get to grips with the beginning part which dealt with rather heavy cultural stories in Venice to do with art and history although this would not be a problem for a lot of readers. I love it both with admiration and adoring sympathy and will continue to read and re-read it on afternoons when my faith in good writing and good people is in need of nourishment. My favourite quotation from Mainardi is: “Astonishingly for me and Anna, Tito’s cerebral Palsy was never a cause for sorrow. Astonishingly, for me and Anna, Tito’s Cerebral Palsy never seemed a burden. At seven months, Tito was simply a person we loved.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    jeremy

    diogo mainardi's the fall (as memórias de um pai em 424 passos) is a moving portrait of a father's love and devotion. the brazilian journalist/novelist/translator's son, tito, was born in 2000 with cerebral palsy - a result of negligence and incompetence on the part of a venetian hospital. mainardi's memoir, through the lens of architecture, literature, art, and history, aims to make sense of his son's disability - highlighting the circular nature of both tito's story and the world itself. compos diogo mainardi's the fall (as memórias de um pai em 424 passos) is a moving portrait of a father's love and devotion. the brazilian journalist/novelist/translator's son, tito, was born in 2000 with cerebral palsy - a result of negligence and incompetence on the part of a venetian hospital. mainardi's memoir, through the lens of architecture, literature, art, and history, aims to make sense of his son's disability - highlighting the circular nature of both tito's story and the world itself. composed of 424 brief passages (many of which are photographs, paintings, or film stills), the fall draws from both antiquity and popular culture to cast the challenges and joys of fatherhood within a broader scope. mainardi's adoration of, devotion to, and reverence for his son are genuinely portrayed, with the author humble and reflective enough to expound on the many unexpected ways tito and his cerebral palsy have shaped his life for the better. the fall is a stirring synthesis of filial affection and literary sensibility. there is no more thrilling adventure than having a child with cerebral palsy. the worst enemy for a child with cerebral palsy is gravity. it's as if he were being permanently pursued by come crazed judo player who enjoys tripping him up. what he needs most of all is to learn how to fall. then he'll leap from white belt to yellow belt, from yellow belt to red belt, until he reaches his limit. all the motor abilities that we acquire automatically, instinctively, he is trying to acquire through discipline, method, thought. it's the struggle of the intellect against savage nature. the perfect metaphor for the history of humanity. david and goliath. theseus and the minotaur. dr. jekyll and mr. hyde. *translated from the portuguese by margaret jull costa (saramago, marías, de queirós, et al.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I don't read much Nonfiction. After reading this, there isn't much reason for me to read any more. This was, honestly, the best book I have read in years. I have read a lot of good fiction, really good. But nothing touched me more than this story. This is a short read, and I admit I neglected my own family in my haste to get to its conclusion. A beautiful story of a father who's sole purpose is to care for his child. A child wrongfully stricken with Cerebral Palsy. But this isn't a sad tale. It' I don't read much Nonfiction. After reading this, there isn't much reason for me to read any more. This was, honestly, the best book I have read in years. I have read a lot of good fiction, really good. But nothing touched me more than this story. This is a short read, and I admit I neglected my own family in my haste to get to its conclusion. A beautiful story of a father who's sole purpose is to care for his child. A child wrongfully stricken with Cerebral Palsy. But this isn't a sad tale. It's far from that. It's a tale of triumph. A boy's triumph. Woven among the achievements of Diogo's son, are circular tales of all the things around them and how they relate. Diogo is so involved with his son, he sees him in everything and everything is a part of his son. From architecture, literature, sculpture, medicine, holocaust, and politics, all these things become part of the cosmic makeup of Cerebral Palsy and the events that shaped the Mainardi family. This is a truly engrossing story which evokes deep empathy. I'm happy to have read this story more than any other story since probably Krakauer.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Potassium

    A unique book written in a series of 424 steps as a father recounts the birth and early life of his son, who, through a series of accidents during the birth, has cerebral palsy. Intertwined with the stories of his son are discussions of the historic events leading up to the birth - both directly related to the birth and also the culture behind the hatred and misunderstanding of disabled people or people with cerebral palsy (including artwork, pictures, etc). This book is another one of those whi A unique book written in a series of 424 steps as a father recounts the birth and early life of his son, who, through a series of accidents during the birth, has cerebral palsy. Intertwined with the stories of his son are discussions of the historic events leading up to the birth - both directly related to the birth and also the culture behind the hatred and misunderstanding of disabled people or people with cerebral palsy (including artwork, pictures, etc). This book is another one of those which is both heartwarming (his love for his son + pictures of his son as he grew up) and heartbreaking (the mistakes during his son's birth + the history of the hatred). I really liked this book - the writing, the pictures, the art, the history, and the fact that it was written in small steps! It was creative and unique and worked perfectly for the message. However, there were parts that seemed a bit dry. I am worried that something got lost in translation? Clearly I should just learn Portuguese and then read the original!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    This is a moving and often humorous tribute from a father to his son born with cerebral palsey. The book is laid out in 424 tidbits (steps) of information about his life with his son. The author draws many likenesses of historical Italian monuments and buildings, Brazilian beach detail, and famous people and paintings in history to relate to the trials, tribulations, and remarkable moments in his son's life. Very interesting book layout and comparisons. I really felt the love this father has for This is a moving and often humorous tribute from a father to his son born with cerebral palsey. The book is laid out in 424 tidbits (steps) of information about his life with his son. The author draws many likenesses of historical Italian monuments and buildings, Brazilian beach detail, and famous people and paintings in history to relate to the trials, tribulations, and remarkable moments in his son's life. Very interesting book layout and comparisons. I really felt the love this father has for his son. "I accepted Tito's cerebral palsy. I accepted it as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I accepted it with delight. I accepted it with enthusiasm. I accepted it with love.” “Knowing how to fall is much more valuable than knowing how to walk.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marsmannix

    This is a short quirkly little memoir of a father and his son Tito who was injured at birth, resulting in tito's diagnosis of cerebral palsy. I had to admit to ignorance of most of the artist references. But Mainardi's style reminds me of MTV's "Pop Up Video", in its loopy referential style. How can you resist a book with references to Abbott & Costello Go to Mars, and Jacopo Tintoretto? I couldn't! This is a short quirkly little memoir of a father and his son Tito who was injured at birth, resulting in tito's diagnosis of cerebral palsy. I had to admit to ignorance of most of the artist references. But Mainardi's style reminds me of MTV's "Pop Up Video", in its loopy referential style. How can you resist a book with references to Abbott & Costello Go to Mars, and Jacopo Tintoretto? I couldn't!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    Really unusual book - difficult to classify. Written by the father of a child born with cerebral palsy, it relates the causes of his son's (Tito) condition and their journey through his childhood via Italian Renaissance architect Pietro Lombardi, Abbott & Costello and Assasin's Creed II to name but a few. I can guarantee it won't be the book you're expecting. Really unusual book - difficult to classify. Written by the father of a child born with cerebral palsy, it relates the causes of his son's (Tito) condition and their journey through his childhood via Italian Renaissance architect Pietro Lombardi, Abbott & Costello and Assasin's Creed II to name but a few. I can guarantee it won't be the book you're expecting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Debi

    This is one of the most beautiful tributes to a child I have ever read. Smart and rich and raw, it covers history, art, architecture, music, and the deep love between a father and his son. It is romantic in a way I have seldom seen in this kind of relationship, and it made my jaw drop over and over.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    This book, and particular this quote from the book, is going to stay with me for a long time: "That's the huge secret about disability- anyone with experience of it knows that a disabled person is just someone they love." This book, and particular this quote from the book, is going to stay with me for a long time: "That's the huge secret about disability- anyone with experience of it knows that a disabled person is just someone they love."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Van Vleet

    Diogo Mainardi's tiny non-fiction book describes his son's birth and cerebral palsy through the lens of art and architectural history. It's a beautiful, devastating idea that falls(no pun intended) too flat. The story is told through 424 "steps," or short vignettes. It's an interesting idea that could work but doesn't within this context. While the decision is poetic and revealed at the end in a heartwarming fashion, it just doesn't work for the first 400 "steps." The division of the story is a Diogo Mainardi's tiny non-fiction book describes his son's birth and cerebral palsy through the lens of art and architectural history. It's a beautiful, devastating idea that falls(no pun intended) too flat. The story is told through 424 "steps," or short vignettes. It's an interesting idea that could work but doesn't within this context. While the decision is poetic and revealed at the end in a heartwarming fashion, it just doesn't work for the first 400 "steps." The division of the story is a bit tumblr-style-poetry in a sort of mock depth that tragically detracts from Mainardi's point. Beyond the format though, the heart of Mainardi's work is intrinsically meshy. Like cooking, there's a hodgepodge of diverse events, facts, and histories wrapped up to make a digestible story. While this wasn't innately problematic, it did lead to some precarious comparisons. For example, while few would argue that The Holocaust and cerebral palsy are both terrible conditions, it seems strange to say they're in any other way similar. Cerebral palsy is a medical condition while The Holocaust was a social one. The Holocaust resulted in the death of 6 million people, while cerebral palsy is a condition possible to live and thrive with. While comparing, even minutely, various shared histories, it feels awkward and difficult to make that connection. Overall, this was a miss for me. Though I don't have any other recommendations, I don't doubt that there are much better books on either art history and its social connections, or cerebral palsy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Laguna

    I don’t know what I expected when I picked this up but I’m so pleased. I also realize I didn’t know much about cerebral palsy but the way Diogo wrote about it was educational but also so interesting. His love for his son and for cerebral palsy was incredible to read. The way he connects everything, all these events in the world to his sons cerebral palsy, the circle. It was wow. This was just a great read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    elena

    Welp that was alright I guess. My impression was that each step was going to be some sort of life lesson or conversation that was being had with his son as they went on this walk. Instead it was very circular and and brought back the same thoughts over and over again. I could something on page ten, then flip to page seven five and it would still be on the same topic. I liked the staccato format of the book, but other than that it wasn’t spectacular. A solid 2.5 stars :(

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ada Francis Madriz Castillo

    Sarcastic and loving at the same time. Beautifully written and flooded with superstitious reiterations. I loved it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Rational but not cold, loving without being lost in sentimentality.

  18. 5 out of 5

    nnamdi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. filing you'll l!n filing you'll l!n

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marion

    A little gem in 434 “steps” (tiny numbered chapters) of a father’s life with his cerebral palsied son Tito, whose condition was caused at birth by negligence on the part of the delivery medical personnel at Venice Hospital. Lavishly illustrated with art and photos.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    unusual structure of 424 very brief entries, sometimes just a photo caption or quote or a couple sentences, symbolizing the 424 steps personal record of his son for walking before falling. His son has cerebral palsy, apparently caused by errors made by the medical team shortly after the birth. The plot, such as it is, is his son's developing motor and communication skills, and in parallel the parents' winning a large lawsuit vs. hospital, but it's far from a linear exposition of these events. Lot unusual structure of 424 very brief entries, sometimes just a photo caption or quote or a couple sentences, symbolizing the 424 steps personal record of his son for walking before falling. His son has cerebral palsy, apparently caused by errors made by the medical team shortly after the birth. The plot, such as it is, is his son's developing motor and communication skills, and in parallel the parents' winning a large lawsuit vs. hospital, but it's far from a linear exposition of these events. Lots of allusions to Neil Young [who also has a son with CP], to Ezra Pound, to Abbott and Costello, to Rembrandt, to beautiful architecture........I'd say about 20% of the entries were moving or thought-provoking, 60% "whatever" and 20% I had no idea what he was saying [it's translated from Portuguese, which may be relevant to that figure), but the entries are so short that this is an acceptable split. On a side note, I'm giving Andrew Solomon the Bogus Blurb award for this one. He apparently dubbed it "wise and unsentimental". I guess "wise" is reasonable, but it would be hard to find a more sentimental book. Mr. Solomon, you get a free copy for blurbing; at least skim the book before sending in a quote!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joseph T

    This book is about what life was like as a father of a child with cerebral palsy. This story takes place in the life of Diogo Mainardi and in the twenty-first century. The author and narrator has a child with cerebral palsy named Tito, a wife named Anna, and a normal child named Nico. The narrator also mentions many historical figures and things to compare himself, his son Tito, and his situation. Some things he references are Assassins Creed, the Holocaust, and Abbot and Costello. I liked thi This book is about what life was like as a father of a child with cerebral palsy. This story takes place in the life of Diogo Mainardi and in the twenty-first century. The author and narrator has a child with cerebral palsy named Tito, a wife named Anna, and a normal child named Nico. The narrator also mentions many historical figures and things to compare himself, his son Tito, and his situation. Some things he references are Assassins Creed, the Holocaust, and Abbot and Costello. I liked this book because I have a brother with autism. Autism is a brain disability just like cerebral palsy. The authors son Tito cannot do some of the things most others do. Tito could not walk more than 424 steps before falling when this book was written. My brother is able to do most things like walk for miles but he acts differently than normal people and I can relate some of my brother's problems to Tito's problems. I would only recommend this book to a friend if he had to read a biography and didn't know what to choose because I do not believe they would want to read this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Nietzsche said “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” Or as I prefer to interpret it "We see what we choose to see". The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps is a written testament to how one can change what we see. The book is a quick and easy read. It's written diary style. The entries are six degrees of separation relating back to Mainardi's son Tito and the tragic malpractice that left Tito with cere Nietzsche said “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” Or as I prefer to interpret it "We see what we choose to see". The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps is a written testament to how one can change what we see. The book is a quick and easy read. It's written diary style. The entries are six degrees of separation relating back to Mainardi's son Tito and the tragic malpractice that left Tito with cerebral palsy. The book is a circle, beginning and ending in Venice and covering everything from Renaissance architecture and art to Abbott and Costello. In brief but eloquent entries Mainardi progresses from wide world view to a world that is focused around Tito. It sounds like it would be a limited narrow existence and yet, it is in Mainardi's interpretation wider than he could ever have imagined.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Now that I've shared it with a few friends I thought would love it, I can come out about how taken I was by The Fall. I got the recommendation last week at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, one of my favorite bookstores in the world. I read the book immediately and loved it - it's another hard-to-classify book like H is for Hawk, which I *also* read last week. The Fall is memoir, yes, but interesting in conception and format, and very moving. A hand-sized book, and a short but (I found) drain Now that I've shared it with a few friends I thought would love it, I can come out about how taken I was by The Fall. I got the recommendation last week at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, one of my favorite bookstores in the world. I read the book immediately and loved it - it's another hard-to-classify book like H is for Hawk, which I *also* read last week. The Fall is memoir, yes, but interesting in conception and format, and very moving. A hand-sized book, and a short but (I found) draining read. The relationship, through time, step by step, of father and son is beautiful and resonant, and The Fall has lingered like the New Orleans (and Venetian) mist. 4 1/2 stars!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a love story. A moving, clever memoir about a father’s relationship with his son Tito, born with cerebral palsy. It’s clever because Mainardi writes in 424 steps like the steps that his son has progressively taken over the years as he grows stronger and more confident in his movement. A poet and journalist, Mainardi writes lyrically as well as in a scrupulously researched manner. It’s beautiful and fascinating. full review: http://entertainmentrealm.com/2014/10... This is a love story. A moving, clever memoir about a father’s relationship with his son Tito, born with cerebral palsy. It’s clever because Mainardi writes in 424 steps like the steps that his son has progressively taken over the years as he grows stronger and more confident in his movement. A poet and journalist, Mainardi writes lyrically as well as in a scrupulously researched manner. It’s beautiful and fascinating. full review: http://entertainmentrealm.com/2014/10...

  25. 4 out of 5

    World Literature Today

    "Full of history and its connections to the present, Diogo Mainardi’s book is a journey told in 424 short pieces. Traveling with his son, who has cerebral palsy, Mainardi attempts to make sense of his and his son’s lives. Written in a tender tone and illustrated with images from art and history along with personal photos, The Fall is deeply moving." This book was featured in the March 2015 issue of World Literature Today as a Nota Bene selection. See the full list of the March Nota Benes here: ht "Full of history and its connections to the present, Diogo Mainardi’s book is a journey told in 424 short pieces. Traveling with his son, who has cerebral palsy, Mainardi attempts to make sense of his and his son’s lives. Written in a tender tone and illustrated with images from art and history along with personal photos, The Fall is deeply moving." This book was featured in the March 2015 issue of World Literature Today as a Nota Bene selection. See the full list of the March Nota Benes here: http://bit.ly/march15nb

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luiz Roberto

    Recomendo a leitura. O texto é muito rico e fiz a leitura acompanhando, página a página, com buscas, na internet, dos lugares, paisagens e músicas citadas pelo autor. I recommend reading. The text is very rich and I did read the book following, page by page, with searches on the Internet, places, sights and songs cited by the author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Literature can often feel like a sterile act, beginning and ending on the page. Diogo Mainardi's memoir is fecund. It's beautiful, touching, and even more impressive, formally inventive. I'm grateful it was pressed upon me, because I otherwise would likely have ignored it--based on the cover alone. I recommend it. Masterfully translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Literature can often feel like a sterile act, beginning and ending on the page. Diogo Mainardi's memoir is fecund. It's beautiful, touching, and even more impressive, formally inventive. I'm grateful it was pressed upon me, because I otherwise would likely have ignored it--based on the cover alone. I recommend it. Masterfully translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

  28. 4 out of 5

    John

    The fall was a wonderful book. If you have kids it makes you step back and think about the small things that we should not sweat or get upset about. What we need to remember is that having kids is a real blessing. I won my copy on GoodReads and will be paying it forward by sharing it with my friends. Thanks for a great book Mr. Mainadri

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Sharp

    A provocative read. I love the way that Diogo Mainardi structures the book -- a quick scene, anecdote, or image for each of the 424 steps his son takes before he falls. This book made me think...and still has me reflecting on the prism of possibility for all children and people with disabilities, overt or invisible.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    While I appreciated how much he loved his son and the format was a unique idea, the format got in the way of the story somewhat. Some of the "chapters" were so short that you don't really have development and some of them seem almost silly. By the end it got frustrating or annoying. I also thought the literature/circular connections were stretches. While I appreciated how much he loved his son and the format was a unique idea, the format got in the way of the story somewhat. Some of the "chapters" were so short that you don't really have development and some of them seem almost silly. By the end it got frustrating or annoying. I also thought the literature/circular connections were stretches.

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